Make Your Own: Natural, Safe Soil
Written by Jesse Richardson on January 23, 2012
One of the best ways you can boost the health of your garden is to enrich the soil with nutrients. Today, thousands of varieties of fertilizers exist on the shelves. From focuses on different seasons to different land types, many of these fertilizers argue they are the panacea you’ve been looking for. There’s one major problem though: most of these fertilizers are artificially made with chemical ingredients.
While some argue artificial fertilizers are doing good for the environment, their use has been linked to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico, leakage into water sources, and general soil degradation over time. The funny thing is you could be making your own soil additives, and at home of all places. It’s simple and does wonders for your soil!
Getting Natural, Safe Soil
There are a few different ways of getting natural, safe soil in your garden:
One of the best ways is to compost your own waste. Unfortunately, food waste is one of the leading contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also part of the reason why our landfills are burgeoning with waste. The worst part about all of this is that food waste has the potential to be constructively!
- Super-simple natural composting: Find a good place in your yard, about 3′ x 3′ x 3′, and drive 3′-4′ stakes into the ground in the shape of a triangle. Wrap a thin wire around the stakes to enclose the area and protect it from any pests. From there, layer the pile with food waste, organic matter, and soil (no dairy, meat, etc). Soon enough, you’ll have a rich mix of soil-like material you can till into your soil or simply lay near the base of your plants.
- Worm Compost: While you simply add worms to the above mix, it’s a better investment strategy to buy a bin or container. There are special containers available for purchase, but you also have the option of making one of your own (remember: plenty of room, drainage holes, rodent proof). Check out our article of Worm Composting for more info! Keep it vegetarian!
- Bokashi Composting: One of the most interesting forms of compost is Bokashi composting. This uses microorganisms in a closed system, and you can even add meat! Find out more about Bokashi Composting!
You can also opt for biochar. Acting much like composting, you can layer your mix on top of the soil or work it into the soil. A simple home method involves covering burning biomass with soil and letting it smolder for some time. This supports the soil and works as a carbon sink hole. This can then be applied directly to your garden!
Finally, you can always opt for natural fertilizers produced by animals. There are some things you should know about using manure, both on the large scale and for personal use. This is pretty straight forward when it comes to what it is and how to use it!
A Healthier Home with Natural Soil
All things considered, take a second guess before you buy that synthetic fertilizer with just the “necessary” nutrients. You could be putting the health of the planet in danger, and you can also be losing out on the rich complexities of truly healthy soil. Try one of these alternatives today!